Maldives Prepares for Crucial Parliamentary Election Amidst Geopolitical Tensions

Khushbu Kumari Jha
Maldives Prepares for Crucial Parliamentary Election Amidst Geopolitical Tensions
Maldives Prepares for Crucial Parliamentary Election Amidst Geopolitical Tensions

Maldives gears up for its fourth multi-party parliamentary election, poised to test President Mohammed Muizzu’s India policy amid growing geopolitical tensions.

Maldives is gearing up for its fourth multi-party parliamentary election this Sunday, a crucial event that will also serve as a litmus test for President Mohammed Muizzu's recent policies, particularly his shift away from India. This election will mark the first electoral assessment of Muizzu's decision to remove Indian military personnel from the Indian Ocean archipelago. The Indian government is closely watching, hoping for a victory by the main opposition and pro-India party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Abdullah Shahid, leader of the MDP and former foreign minister, expressed confidence in his party's prospects before the voting began. He cited the failures of the Muizzu administration in both domestic and foreign policies over the past five months, asserting that the Maldivian people have taken note of these shortcomings. Shahid lamented the deterioration of democratic values under Muizzu's leadership, accusing him of ascending to power through deceit and fostering a climate of hostility. He alleged that development projects were stalled, and opposition members faced threats of job suspension and dismissal based on political affiliations.

Shahid, who also served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly, emphasized the need for change, stating that Muizzu's regime has been marred by widespread corruption and mismanagement. He expressed confidence that voters would voice their discontent through their ballots, signaling a rejection of Muizzu's administration.

President Muizzu, who has been viewed as pro-China, countered these allegations by highlighting issues of corruption and inefficiency under the current government. He claimed that democratic values have been eroding, prompting citizens to seek change through the electoral process. Muizzu's victory over his MDP predecessor Ibrahim Solih in the previous presidential election underscored the geopolitical tension between India and China, with his leadership often associated with a pro-China stance.